David Pollack: 2019 Georgia football more talented than 2017 version, ‘that’s fact’
ATHENS — This season’s edition of Georgia football has more talent than the 2017 Bulldogs that played for the national championship, according to Bulldogs’ legend David Pollack.
Pollack, speaking Friday as part of ESPN’s College GameDay crew, had plenty to say about the rise of Georgia football and keys to this season.
The popular ESPN show is in Athens for the first time since 2013 to preview and highlight the No. 3-Ranked Bulldogs’ showdown against No. 7 Notre Dame at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
It’s also the first time CBS hasn’t used it’s one-time night game exemption for the Alabama-LSU clash since 2010.
2017 vs. 2019
Pollack’s comments on the 2019 team’s talents pack a punch when one considers the 2017 Bulldogs played in the CFP Championship Game.
“The 2019 team is more talented team than the 2017 team, that’s fact, that’s not even debatable,” Pollack said “In 2017, Kirby was playing players that were really smart, that were in the right position, that weren’t necessarily athletic freaks. Now it’s fun to have both, he’s got a combination of athleticism across the board, they’re deep in every single spot.
“What does that mean? There’s competition in every spot, that’s the biggest thing, guys,” Pollack said. “When you’ve got somebody breathing down your neck, to take your job, and take your spot, it makes you work harder, and Georgia has got that at every position across the board.”
These are the good old days for Georgia football, Pollack said.
The Bulldogs haven’t won a national championship since 1980, former UGA coach and athletic director Vince Dooley recently honored with the Sanford Stadium field being named in his honor.
But Pollack believes times are good at Georgia and will get even better.
“You’re living in the days where it’s going to be the best in Georgia history,” Pollack said. “If you need a team out there, Georgia is a good one to pick. If you’re going to buy stock, they’re stocked across the board.
“You look at all the 5-star guys and all the recruits, the discipline they play with now, and the toughness they play with, they’re not going anywhere.”
Pollack said there’s only one Georgia position group that still concerns him, and he’s looking to see who steps up against the Irish on Saturday night.
“Somebody has to step up at wide receiver for Georgia and be the guy, and I’m interested to see if it’s (George) Pickens, if it’s (Dominick) Blaylock … Demetris Robertson is a little banged up, Kearis (Jackson) got banged up earlier in the year,” Pollack said.
“Somebody needs to get on the page with Jake Fromm that we saw years ago, with back shoulder fades, and a guy that he can trust,” Pollack said. “Because if you’re going to point to a weakness for this team, or a question mark for Georgia, it’s the receivers. There is no other question mark on this team, everywhere else is pretty solid.”
Pickens and Blaylock rank No. 1 and No. 2 in catches for Georgia to this point of the season, with grad transfers Eli Wolf (tight end) and Lawrence Cager rounding out the top four.
Notre Dame’s hope
As for Notre Dame’s chances against the Bulldogs, Pollack said it all comes down to Ian Book.
“I don’t think there’s any player in the country that has to be more productive for their team to win this week than Ian Book,” Pollack said. “Ian Book has to be great, and it’s got to be with his legs, he’s got to run the ball effectively, he’s got to scramble and throw the football effectively
“He’s a really a talented kid, and if Notre Dame is going to come down here and pull off an upset against a Georgia team that’s more talented them them, it’s going to have to be Ian Book playing not (just) good, but really good, beyond good levels, to great levels.”